News From Terre Haute, Indiana

News

August 3, 2013

State wants changes to ISU downtown housing plan

Budget Committee concerned about costs, school not owning housing building at end

TERRE HAUTE — When the State Budget Committee met Friday at Indiana State University, one item was noticeably missing from the agenda — ISU’s long-term lease for downtown student housing, a public/private partnership.

The item was tabled at the committee’s July meeting, and committee members say the lease agreement needs changes that are more favorable to ISU.

ISU sought approval for a 30-year lease agreement with private developer Thompson Thrift, which would build a four-story retail/residential building along Wabash Avenue between Fifth and Sixth streets. ISU would lease the upper three floors for student housing.

Annual lease payments are estimated at about $1.05 million per year and ISU also would be responsible for operations and maintenance of the residential areas.

ISU also would pay costs associated with preservation of existing historic facades of buildings, estimated at $2 million.

The total expected cost over 30 years was estimated at $33.6 million, according to information provided to the State Budget Committee.

“We think the lease agreement needs further work,” State Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, chairman of the committee, said earlier this week. The proposed agreement as it is now “doesn’t look like a good arrangement for ISU.”  

The 30-year lease with the private developer “is a very long-term commitment,” he said.

Kenley said the proposed project involves an “unusual arrangement” and is unlike other traditional university housing projects that have come before the State Budget Committee.

Kenley said he appreciates that ISU wants to be a good community partner with the city of Terre Haute and he commended ISU for working with the community to take over the former federal building/post office to use for the Scott College of Business.

But the State Budget Committee’s priority is how the agreement would impact the university and its students, Kenley said.

The budget committee is not killing the proposed project, but it needs more work. “We’re just not quite ready to go forward with it,” Kenley said.  

It’s not just Republicans who are concerned. State Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, said she’d feel better about the project if ISU eventually owned the housing facility.

She also has concerns about the cost of the long-term lease. “I think we really need to justify the numbers. What is it going to cost the university to build this project and own it versus be a tenant?” she said.

Tallian said she’s been a landlord before, “and landlords want to make money. But as kind of the guardian of the state’s finances, I need to make sure this is a good deal for the state of Indiana.”

State Budget Committee members visited the site of the proposed downtown housing on Thursday, she said.

Asked if committee concerns can be addressed, she said, “I hope so.”

State Sen. Tim Skinner, D-Terre Haute, an alternate on the State Budget Committee, has discussed the project with other committee members and tried to explain the project’s importance to ISU and the downtown area.

Kenley supports the idea and the community, Skinner said, but “he wants to see ISU with a better deal in this project” than what is currently on the table.

Skinner believes the concerns can be addressed. “I think we all share in the belief that this project has a lot of potential,” he said.

ISU President Dan Bradley said on Thursday he believes the issues “will be worked out.” Diann McKee, ISU vice president for business affairs, and Thompson Thrift representatives “are working on some changes to the agreement,” he said.

Because of the changes, the lease will have to go back to the ISU board of trustees, and its next meeting is in September. “It will probably be October before it gets back to the budget committee,” Bradley said.

He still anticipates the project will be completed and ready for occupancy by fall 2015. “We’re still pretty confident. Clearly, it’s disappointing it has taken so long,” Bradley said.

The ISU president said that State Budget Committee members “are somewhat uncomfortable about ISU not having a piece of property at the end, and they are concerned about costs.”

The committee also wants to ensure the costs to students who live in the downtown housing “don’t escalate at unreasonable rates,” he said.

In discussions, ISU will be working with Thompson Thrift to address those concerns, Bradley said.

Paul Thrift, president of Thompson Thrift Development, could not be reached for comment Friday.

Thompson Thrift does not yet own most of the property on the north side of Wabash Avenue between Fifth and Sixth streets, but it does have an agreement with Mike and Kal Ellis to purchase the properties.

Mike Ellis said that agreement is still valid, and he supports the downtown retail/housing project. “We will see this through one way or another,” Ellis said. “It may not be the timetable we’d hoped for, but I think the end result is a better downtown Terre Haute.”

The parties entered an agreement “with eyes wide open. We knew the process would entail multiple layers of governmental approval, and we made necessary provisions to accommodate that,” he said.

The Ellises are in the process of salvaging items of value from the properties, he said.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.

Maureen Hayden, CNHI Statehouse Bureau, contributed to this report

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
News
  • MET 073014 WESTMINISTER DIG.jpg Expanding independence

    Westminster Village, a Terre Haute retirement community, is investing $1.8 million to construct 12 new villa homes, officials announced Wednesday.

    July 30, 2014 5 Photos

  • Decades later, dry cleaners leave blemish

    Fifty years ago, about 30 dry cleaners did business in the city of Terre Haute. City officials are now cleaning up the mess some left behind.

    July 30, 2014 1 Story

  • MARK BENNETT: Year of River sets example for state

    Terre Haute pays more attention to the Wabash River these days.

    July 30, 2014

  • Climate of less regulation, more chemical spills leaves ‘historical pollution,’ NCA director says

    Former dry cleaning sites are an environmental problem all over the state, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

    July 30, 2014 1 Story

  • MET073014parks bbushee.jpg Camping turnout low for first half of summer

    Camping revenue for the past two months has dropped in Vigo County parks, a downturn park officials say is difficult to attribute to a new park policy limiting campers’ stays to 14 days in the three county parks.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 073014 DESTROYED.jpg Devastating fire takes out mobile home

    A Seelyville mobile home sustained heavy damage in a fire early Wednesday morning.
    Lost Creek Township firefighters were called to the scene in the 2200 block of Tabortown Road south of U.S. 40 at about 2 a.m.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Man posts bond after fatal wreck

    An Oct. 7 trial date has been set for a Terre Haute man accused of driving while intoxicated causing death.

    July 30, 2014 3 Stories

  • Driver injured, airlifted, cited for failure to yield

    An elderly woman was injured in a crash Wednesday afternoon in Sullivan County, according to Indiana State Police.

    July 30, 2014

  • MET072914leo screen.jpg Slick’s debut

    Bobby “Slick” Leonard was the main attraction but his hometown, Terre Haute, was constantly in the background as friends, fans and family gathered in Indianapolis Tuesday night to honor the man famous for the words “Boom Baby.”

    July 29, 2014 8 Photos

  • MET 072914 TAJIMI YANASE.jpg Sister-city students get a dose of ‘new culture’

    One of Juri Sawada’s dreams has been to visit America.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Motion delays trial for 2012 homicide

    A man who has been jailed about 20 months in connection with the homicide of his wife will not go on trial next week as scheduled.

    July 29, 2014

  • Sheriff charged in prostitution case

    Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden has spent more than 30 years in law enforcement working to protect the public from criminals, but on Tuesday he was treated as one.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • maple candy closeup.jpg Vigo Parks dishing out the sweetness

    Vigo County Parks and Recreation has made a “sweet” addition to its maple syrup production at Prairie Creek Park.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Danny Rodden indicted on federal charges

    Instead of overseeing the operations of the Clark County jail and police force Tuesday, Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden found himself being transported by the FBI to Indianapolis to answer federal charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • Woman’s condition ‘fair’ after grocery store wreck

    A Terre Haute woman was listed in fair condition Tuesday at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis as the result of injuries sustained in Monday’s accident on the Baesler’s Market parking lot.

    July 29, 2014

  • Semi driver cited for alcohol use

    A commercial vehicle driver has been placed out of service after he tested positive for alcohol consumption during a Tuesday morning traffic stop in Sullivan County.

    July 29, 2014

  • Church to give out school backpacks

    United Methodist Temple will stage its first-ever Back-2-School Bash from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 9.
    The church is located at 5301 S. U.S. 41.

    July 29, 2014

  • MET 072814 BUS MEYERROSE.jpg Bus safety features

    New safety features on South Vermillion School Corp. buses have led to fewer disciplinary problems and fewer incidents of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses, officials say.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Pendergast.jpg Humvee driver says foot caused fatal accident

    Kyle Pendergast, 22, the Terre Haute driver of a black Humvee charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing the death of a teenager, has told police he could not turn the wheel before the vehicle flipped in a field in an early Saturday morning accident.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • MET 072814 CONTAMINATED Cleaner may have contaminated water

    Groundwater and soil testing is set to begin within a week to learn whether toxic chemicals might have seeped into the wells of a small southside neighborhood and even beyond.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Housing Authority’s Warren Village nearing completion

    Construction on the newest Terre Haute Housing Authority property – Warren Village – should wrap up next month, a housing authority official said Monday.

    July 29, 2014

  • rush-hr.jpg Observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking next chief

    State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure as the state’s top judge.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Multi-vehicle accident in parking lot

    A woman was hospitalized with injuries after a multiple-vehicle accident late Monday morning in the Baesler’s Market parking lot on Poplar Street

    July 29, 2014

  • Old National acquires Michigan bank

    Evansville-based Old National Bancorp and Grand Rapids-based Founders Financial Corp. said Monday they have finalized an agreement under which Old National will acquire Founders through a stock and cash merger.

    July 28, 2014

  • Ohio man falls to death at Cataract Falls rec area

    Indiana conservation officers are investigating the death of an Ohio man that occurred at about 4:10 p.m. Sunday at Cataract Falls State Recreation Area in Owen County.

    July 28, 2014

  • MET 072514 WWI 01MORAHN.jpg Postcards from the war front

    A native of France, Marie Decleir saw humanity at its worst as she experienced the death and destruction caused by World War I, which began 100 years ago today.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET 072714 NASCAR STEIG.jpg Watching Gordon make history

    As race car drivers competed on the track on Sunday in Indianapolis, racing fans in Terre Haute gathered around television screens and watched history unfold during the “Crown Royal Presents, The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard.”

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • STATE OF THE STATEHOUSE: Inept amid partisan fury

    Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous.

    July 27, 2014

  • Restaurant Inspections: July 28, 2014

    July 7-11

    July 27, 2014

  • MET 072514 I-70 CONE.jpg Caution zone

    Travel the interstate at your own risk.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Raw: 16 Killed in Gaza Market Strike Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando Harding Love Letters Now Open to Public Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Raw: Guinea Rap Concert Stampede Kills 33+ Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News